The History and Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate form Mountain Valley Farm

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Friday, July 15, 2011

 

Historical and Archaeological records show that the cacao bean used in making modern chocolate has been used for thousands of years.  Mesoamericans, pre-Columbian Paleo-Indians dated to circa 3500 BCE, drank the cacao been ground with other ingredients to make a bitter beverage.  These ancient people whose remains are found in southern north America were originally hunter-gatherers who established agricultural settlements due in part to the cacao tree.  The Classic Maya Period (circa 250-900 CE) the ancestors to the Mesoamericans took the trees from the ancient rainforest settlements and replanted it into their fields to harvest, ferment, roast and grind the cacao seeds into a paste.

In the 1400’s, the Aztecs began trading for cacao or were given “tribute” in cacao seeds from those whose territories were conquered.  The Aztecs mixed the cacao with peppers and other native spices to create a beverage, much like their ancestors.  Most of these bitter drinks were consumed by rulers and royalty, and by priests while performing sacred ceremonies.  These seeds were also given to their gods as offerings.  It was during the conquests of the conquistadors in 1521 that the Spanish saw the benefits of cacao and imported it back home.  This would be the beginning of modern consumption of Cacao.  Within 100 years, cacao spread across Europe, and with the addition of sugar, a product unknown to the Americas, chocolate was born and quickly became loved by nearly all who consumed it.

Today, there are many forms of chocolate, mainly dark, milk and white.  Dark chocolate, has the purest cacao bean; milk chocolate, the most popular form of chocolate, includes milk and sugar which dilutes the cacao. White chocolate is a chocolate that contains no cacao at all.  And with so many marketed products, there are nearly as many urban legends about chocolate.  We hear that chocolate causes acne, causes cavities and headaches, gives consumers the jitters, and is an aphrodisiac.  Because of these claims, many studies have been done to find out what the properties of chocolate really achieve.  Below are the findings of various universities’ studies:

  • The Pennsylvania School of Medicine and US Naval Acadamy sought to find out the truth behind the claim that chocolate causes acne.  The result?  Cacao DOES NOT affect our skin; the many other added ingredients, however, can.
  • Chocolate has often been the blame of cavities; but, according to the Osaka University in Japan, “cacao contains antibacterial agents that actually fight tooth decay.”[1] It is the sugar from the mass production of the candy that can cause cavities.
  • At the University of Pittsburgh, studies were done to find out if chocolate should really be blamed for headaches.  An average headache IS NOT related to the consumption of chocolate.  As a matter of fact, the small amounts of stimulants found in processes cacao are also found in some headache medicines and, in fact, can stop headaches. Their studies do suggest that chocolate can trigger migraines.
  • The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that the polyphenols (the antioxidants inhibiting oxidation of LDL or bad cholesterol) in red wine and green tea are comparable to the polyphenols in cacao.
  • Cocoa butter found naturally in dark chocolate, according to NUMEROUS studies, does not raise blood cholesterol levels; rather, it acts more like the monounsaturated fat found in olive oil.

In short, the benefits of dark chocolate are exemplary.  Much like medicines given to us for high blood pressure, headaches, coronary artery disease and so on, the consumption of dark chocolate is a natural way to keep out bodies in good health, without the concerns of side-affects from the synthetic alternative.

 

To learn about available Dark Chocolate Goodies:

Mountain Valley View Farm, Inc.

Organic Dark Chocolate Cookies & Fudge for Sale

DarkChocolatePricesFlier

Mountain Valley View Farm, Inc.

Your Source for Northwest Farm Fresh Foods Shipped Worldwide

4301 South Chapman Road

Greenacres, Washington 99016-8732 USA

Phone (509) 928-1800 | Fax (509) 922-9949

www.mountainvalleyviewfarm.com

www.mountainvalleyviewfarmstore.com

Email: sales@mountainvalleyviewfarm.com

 

Blog with us at www.mountainvalleyviewfarmblog.com

 

Mountain Valley View Farm Hours:

Monday – Saturday (Pacific Time) 8:00 a.m. – Noon

Closed Noon – 1:00 p.m. Daily

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time)

 

Other farm hours by advance appointment only.

Please call (509) 928-1800 to schedule an appointment.


Please visit all our farm sites:

 

Blog Sites:

 

www.cookingwithkarenblog.com

www.getawaystudioblog.com

www.mountainvalleyviewfarmblog.com

 

Drupal Sites:

 

www.freshveggiesfrommvvf.com

 

Flash Sites:

 

www.cookingwithkaren.com

www.getawaystudiobedandbreakfast.com

www.getawaystudiodiningroom.com

 

OS Commerce Sites:

 

www.cookingwithkarenstore.com

www.getawaystudiostore.com

www.mountainvalleyviewfarm.com

www.mountainvalleyviewfarmstore.com

 

We ask that you bookmark these sites and share them with your friends.

Check back often, as we will be adding more products and information.

 

We look forward to hearing from you!


[1] A Sweet Life.  “The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate.”  Accessed at: <http://asweetlife.org/a-sweet-life-staff/featured/the-health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate/14405> ©2011



Leave a Reply